Porto offers several options for outdoor activities to keep you entertained in these hot summer days. Exploring our zoos may be an unforgettable way of spending the day, especially if you are travelling with children.
You’ll be able to discover new species while learning about them and the importance of wildlife and nature conservation. Let me introduce you, then, to the best zoos in Porto.
These are the best zoos in Porto:
Zoo de Santo Inácio is a special place, and definitely one of the best zoos in Porto. Located only 10 minutes away from Porto, at Vila Nova de Gaia, it’s the biggest zoo in northern Portugal. This zoo is home to 600 animals of 200 different species.
All of them live in natural environments, according to its origins, raising awareness of the importance of wildlife protection and welfare.
It’s a great spot to spend some quality time with the family because Zoo Santo Inácio promotes activities with the animals. You’ll be able to feed animals such as penguins, lemurs or red pandas, but also watch wildlife demonstrations. Don’t miss out on the Asian lion tunnel, the reptile house and the tropical greenhouse!
Useful Information about Zoo Santo Inácio
Open all year except December 25th and January 1st.
Summer (April 1st to October 14th): 10h to 19h.
Winter (October 15th to March 31st): 10h to 17h.
– Free entrance for children under 2 years old.
– 3-12 years: 10,50€.
– 13-64 years: 15,90€.
– Plus 65 years: 14,50€.
You can buy the online ticket to Zoo de Santo Inácio.
How to get to Zoo de Santo Inácio
From Porto, the easiest way is to take the subway yellow line (towards St. Ovídio) and exit at João De Deus Station. Next to El Corte Inglês, take the MGC bus to “Quinta das Oliveiras”.
Sea Life Porto
Sea Life Porto is the perfect place to watch up close some of the most beautiful sea animals, such as impressive sharks, colourful seahorses, jellyfishes, penguins among others. Moreover, you can watch the animals being fed, while a member of the Sea Life team introduces you to some interesting facts about them.
This aquarium will keep anyone entertained, but especially kids. So, if you are travelling with children, you should consider this option that has earned its rightful place amongst the best zoos in Porto. Another plus is its location, in the city, but right in front of the Atlantic ocean.
Useful Information about Sea Life Porto
– From Monday to Friday: 10h to 18h.
– Weekend and Holidays: 10h to 19h.
Buying the online tickets to Sea Life Porto is the best decision to do, because you get a discount. If you buy the online ticket to Sea Life Porto, instead of 13,95€ at the counter.
The entrance is free to children under 3 years old.
How to get to Sea Life Porto
Catch the bus 500 or 502 to Matosinhos and exit at the stop Sea Life Castelo do Queijo. You can also take the subway station (blue line) and exit at Matosinhos sul station, and walk from there (it is around 20 minutes walking distant).
Gaia’s Biological Park
Gaia’s Biological Park is a natural reserve focused on environmental education, whose main objective is fostering understanding of the regional landscape. So, its visitors can observe the animal species on their natural habitat, as well as other components, such as typical rural structures, mills, granaries and barns.
It is one of my favourite places on this list, because I truly feel that it is a place that is fighting to keep our natural ecosystems and to teach the local population about them. It is also quite large and quite, and thus ideal for a romantic walk.
Parque Biológico de Gaia also has a recovery centre for wild animals, that have been wounded or illegally held in captivity, which helps to raise awareness to the importance of protecting and conserving the wildlife.
Its location near Porto, at Vila Nova de Gaia, the neighbouring town, makes it one of the best zoos in Porto.
Useful Information about Gaia’s Biological Park
– Summer (April to October): 10h to 19h.
– Winter (November to March): 10h to 17h.
– Free entrance for children under 7 years old.
– 7 – 17 years old: 1€.
– 18 – 64 years old: 3€.
– >65 years old: 1€.
How to get to Gaia’s Biological Park
From Porto, go to the bus terminal MGC Crestuma, at Parque das Camélias (next to Praça da Batalha). Then, ask the driver to drop you off at the Biological Park.
Zoo da Maia
Zoo da Maia is the most traditional zoo of this list of the best zoos in Porto. Located in Maia, a city near Porto, it is known for its reptile, which is the largest and best equipped in the country. There you’ll be able to witness, safely, some of the most fearsome reptiles, such as enormous snakes and grand iguanas.
IF you’re not into reptiles (neither am I!), rest assured there are plenty of other species for you to admire.
Besides, Zoo da Maia offers daily presentations with the sea lions and birds of prey, such as eagles, owls, and others. These activities are both fun and pedagogical since its goal is to raise awareness of nature conservation. Keep them in mind while planning your visit to one of the best zoos in Porto.
Useful Information about Zoo da Maia
– Open all week, except Mondays.
– Summer (April to October): 10h to 19h.
– Winter (November to March): 11h to 17h.
– 3 – 12 years old: 5€
– 13 – 64 years old: 7,50€
– >65 years old: 5€
How to get to Zoo da Maia
From Porto, take the subway green line towards Ismai and exit at Forum da Maia Station; walk 10 minutes, and you’ll be there. You can also catch the 603 (bus) at Marquês, and you’ll arrive exactly at the spot (Jardim Zológico station).